Pearl Pleased

LSU coach John Brady said he was making a ``sarcastic'' remark to friends and family along press row when he was quoted as saying Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl should ``show some class.''

Pearl said he spoke with Brady on Tuesday morning about the incident. Pearl initiated the call to Brady.

``He said he was giving some friends and family members some (grief) and make a sarcastic remark,'' Pearl told Rocky Top News late Wednesday morning from Memphis, where the Vols play the Tigers tonight.

Pearl said he called Brady not just to talk about Brady's comments, but to find out if Brady really felt that Pearl's late-game antics were offensive. With about a minute left in the game, Pearl re-inserted guard Dane Bradshaw, who had been the target of verbal abuse from LSU fans. Pearl raised Bradshaw 's hand before sending him in the game.

Pearl said he put Bradshaw in because the Vols needed a 3-pointer. In doing so, Pearl admitted was playing to the LSU fans and said he meant no disrespect.

``I wasn't concerned about his comments as much as I wanted to know if he thought what I did was no class,'' Pearl said.

According to Pearl, Brady said: ``I didn't think it was no class.''

Pearl added: ``I'm OK with his explanation and we'll move on.''

Contacted Tuesday night, Brady was reluctant to talk about the incident and called it ``unnecessary.''

After LSU's 14-point win over Tennessee on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, Brady, before his post-game radio show at press row, was quoted in The Tennessean as saying: ``Tell your coach to show some class. What's he doing holding up (Dane) Bradshaw's hand to the student section? Show a little class. Act like you've been there.''

Chris Low of the Tennessean said he was seated just a few feet from Brady and that Brady looked at Low when he make the remarks about Pearl. Low said Brady spoke in a loud voice. Low said he believes Brady intended for Low to hear what was said.

Brady said he wasn't speaking to Low. ``I don't know Chris Low, I've never met him and he's never asked me a question,'' Brady said.

Brady did ask me if I'd ever said anything in sarcasm, implying that's what he was doing after the LSU-Tennessee game. Brady was also upset that the reporter did not ask him a question in response to those remarks.

Asked if Brady had indeed said those things about Pearl, Brady said: ``I'm not going to comment on what may or may not have been said in a private conversation.''

Asked Tuesday night if he felt he should talk to Pearl, Brady said: ``No, I don't have anything against Bruce Pearl.''

Brady reiterated that if he had to vote today, he would pick Pearl as the SEC Coach of the Year.

Mike Hamilton, Tennessee men's athletic director, was not happy with quotes attributed to Brady. Hamilton called the SEC Office and talked to Charles Bloom, head of media relations.

Asked his reaction to Brady's comments, Hamilton said: ``I'm disappointed. I think Bruce Pearl is a classy guy and I wouldn't trade him for anybody in the country. He's a breathe of fresh air. He's an honest, open, engaging guy. He's got people noticing Tennessee basketball.''

Hamilton was asked if he thought Pearl did anything wrong by holding up Bradshaw's hand and putting the guard back in the game in the final minute.

``No,'' Hamilton said. ``He (Pearl) wouldn't have done it if the game was in the balance. It was a spontaneous thing. … He wouldn't do it as an in-your-face to the opponent.''

After hearing Brady's side of the story, Hamilton said Wednesday afternoon he would not pursue the matter any further.

``Bruce Pearl is comfortable with it and so am I,'' Hamilton said.


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